Student Concerns

Graduate Concerns Committee/Graduate Representatives

Each fall semester faculty members are appointed to the Graduate Concerns Committee to make policy and procedure decisions concerning the Graduate Program. Major policy decisions are subject to approval by the entire Anthropology faculty.

Three graduate student representatives will be elected each fall to be included as voting members of the Graduate Concerns Committee in all policy matters and decisions except those pertaining to the evaluation or funding of individual graduate students.

Leaves of Absence

A leave of absence is not designed as a period to complete graduate program course work or degree requirements; it is a “time-out” from the graduate program. In order for a student to apply for a leave of absence, s/he must be in good standing. Graduate School policy stipulates that a student may not apply for a leave of absence if s/he has any outstanding incomplete grades in coursework.

A leave of absence is granted for a student to pursue activities or deal with life circumstances that take him or her fully outside graduate study and research. Caring for young children, long-term illness, family crisis, or a unique professional training opportunity all qualify as legitimate reasons to request a leave of absence.

Official leaves of absence must be requested in writing by the student, and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School. According to Graduate School policy, a student in good standing may be granted 2 one-year leaves of absence upon recommendation of the student’s department. If the leave is approved, the student will receive written confirmation from the Director of Graduate Studies regarding the specific time period of the leave. Please refer to the Graduate School Handbook (Standards of Academic Performance and Conduct section) and website for more information.

Student Grievances/Appeal Process

Graduate Students who have a grievance based on a decision by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or the Graduate Concerns Committee (GCC) can seek regress through an appeal process.

Appeal Process

Graduate students who wish to appeal a decision made by the Director of Graduate Studies can initially ask relief from the Graduate Concerns Committee (GCC). If the relief is not available, then the student can initiate the Appeal Process. If the problem is a result of an action of the GCC, the student can immediately initiate the Appeal Process.

The Appeal Process is initiated with a letter of intent to the Chair of the Department. If the Chair of the Department is involved with the particular case, then the letter of intent should go to the committee. The Chair may determine if there is a way to mediate the problem. If the Chair cannot resolve the issue within seven days, the student can send the formal appeal to the Graduate Student Appeal Committee (GSAC). The letter should detail the issue to be resolved with appropriate documents.

Graduate Student Appeal Committee

The GSAC will be composed of three members of the faculty elected by the full faculty at the beginning of the academic year. If a member of this committee is a party to the case under appeal, that faculty member will be replaced on the committee for the duration of this appeal. The replacement will be a faculty member selected by the student and the Chair of the Department. The student can request a meeting with the committee to discuss the case after the decision has been made.

Notification of Action

The GSAC will notify the student, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair within a month after receipt of the appeal. The student can request a meeting with the committee to discuss the case after a decision has been made.